What is a true man? I remember reading a humorous article written about men in America. And what it basically said was that there were few real men. Most were in fact, wimps. A woman that was interviewed said, “I’m sure we have more wimps per capita than any other country, especially among younger men. Most of the men I meet are wimps.”
A pretty sad commentary. That was written back in 1984, but I wonder how much things have really changed. Are there more real men out there?
For that matter, what is a real man? Is it someone that bosses around the people in his life? Is it a person that throws his weight around? Is it someone who forces others to submit by mere force of his will?
I think we find some of the answers here. Isaiah here refers to a king that would reign in righteousness. It could be referring to Hezekiah, but it is also pointing to a future king: Christ.
In this passage, it talks about what the ideal king （and princes) should be like. But I think it also shows what true men should be like.
Each man will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land. (2)
In other words a man should be one that protects the people God has given into his care. When the storms come, he stands and gives shelter to those under his protection. And like streams of water, he refreshes the people who look up to him.
Then the eyes of those who see will no longer be closed, and the ears of those who hear will listen. The mind of the rash will know and understand, and the stammering tongue will be fluent and clear. (3-4)
As we see here, a true man is a teacher as well. He helps open the eyes and ears of those who are blind and deaf to the truth. And through his words, he brings understanding to people that their lives may be transformed.
And finally, Isaiah says,
But the noble man makes noble plans, and by noble deeds he stands. (8)
In other words, a true man makes godly plans and lives a godly life.
This compared to the man in verses 6-7, whose very words are folly, whose mind and actions are dominated by evil. Who spreads error about God and his will. Who instead of refreshing others, holds back from them the things they need. Who instead of building people up, destroys their very lives by his words and actions.
As a father and husband, the question I need to ask myself is what kind of man am I? Too often, I think I fall short. I’ve got a long way to go to be the man God has called me to be.
But Jesus was that kind of man. Jesus was able to do all the things that I haven’t been able to until now. He knows my weaknesses. And he understands my temptations.
The writer of Hebrews tells us this:
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16)
So that’s what I will do until Jesus returns.
Men, what kind of man are you? Are you a man like Jesus was?
And women, what kind of man do you have in your life? What kind of man are you looking for?
Lord, let me be a noble man. A man who makes noble plans, and stands on noble deeds. A man that is a shelter in the storm. A man that refreshes others. A man that teaches others your way. Lord Jesus, let me be a man as you were. Make me like you. In Jesus name, amen.